Criminology and Criminal Justice

Criminology is the study of crime, the consequences of crime, people who engage in crime and the reasons for that engagement, while Criminal Justice examines the Canadian criminal justice system including corrections, victimology, police, courts, youth-at-risk, and criminal procedure.


Criminology is a discipline that seeks to understand how people behave in difficult, confusing, stressful, tragic, and bizarre situations. As the study of Criminology often involves political, social, and personal consideration, students learn to analyze theories of criminal behaviour and fairly and accurately evaluate criminal justice systems and policies.

Our program at St. Thomas examines the people and institutions that affect, and are affected by, the justice system, exploring the impact on offenders, victims, and the public.

  • You have ever questioned the workings of the criminal justice system
  • You want a better understanding of the reasons individuals engage in crime
  • You are interested in social justice and want to make a difference

By studying Criminology, students develop exceptional academic and research literacy. As presentation of this research is essential to the discipline, students also gain significant experience in skills such as communication and debate. Analytical and evaluative skills are central to the study of Criminology and Criminal Justice as students are required to question the policies and institutions in place for those who have been identified as criminal and those who have been victims of criminal behaviour.


A foundation in Criminology and Criminal Justice will prepare you for a wide variety of careers. The knowledge and skillset gained from this subject area is both deeply analytical, practical, and demanding. Graduates from this program have pursued careers in law, police and RCMP, government, social policy, corrections, social work, education, and more St. Thomas is the first university in Atlantic Canada to offer a major in Criminology and the first Canadian university to develop an applied arts degree program in Criminal Justice.

A major or honours in Criminology is for students who plan to work in the criminal justice system, public safety areas such as policy development and program evaluation, or those applying to graduate school.

Criminology can be viewed as an integrated approach to the study of crime and it combines elements of knowledge from a variety of disciplines including Psychology, Sociology, Human Rights, Political Science, Philosophy, History, and more.